Advertisers are watching with interest as Goals The new Threads messaging app is being developed over the next few months as they search for a new social channel to reach consumers as Twitter continues to struggle.
Instagram Threads debuted last week and has amassed more than 100 million subscriptions, drawing the attention of numerous businesses, several digital marketing agencies and industry insiders told CNBC.
Natasha Blumenkron, vice president of paid social at marketing firm Tinuiti, said Threads has become the topic of the day for her company’s clients, who are trying to figure out how the messaging app fits into their social media strategies. existing.
Many companies that have stopped advertising on Twitter over brand safety concerns, including the reported increase in racist and hate speech on the platform owned by Tesla boss Elon Musk, are excited about the prospect of advertising on Threads once that option is available, Blumenkron said.
Meta is currently more focused on building the core Threads product rather than monetizing the app, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said in several interviews and a post on Threads. Many popular features that are common to other social apps, like the ability to use hashtags or read posts in chronological order, aren’t currently available, and Mosseri has said his team is working to incorporate some of those tools.
Blumenkron explained that many brands are interested in the potential of Threads to add more features like chronological feeds and the ability to search for hashtags. These features can be useful for businesses to ensure their posts are being displayed to the right audience and help them understand what trending topics might inform their content.
“When we think about playing in the paid space, brands really just want to make sure their content reaches relevant audiences,” Blumenkron said. “You’re paying to play at the end of the day and you want to make sure you’re where it makes the most sense.”
Rachel Tipograph, CEO of marketing technology company MikMak, said her company’s consumer products and retail clientele are also interested in advertising opportunities on Threads, as they are constantly trying to “find new eyes.” particularly as Twitter’s brand safety issues continue. increase.
MikMak was able to deduce that many of the company’s clients significantly reduced their Twitter ad spend based on the amount of traffic the company sees from paid advertising campaigns it helps manage for clients, he said.
For example, MikMak saw a 42% drop in Twitter traffic between April and May, indicating that companies were pausing their paid ad campaigns. When Linda Yaccarino, former head of global advertising at NBCUniversal, became CEO of Twitter in June, MikMak saw a 21% increase in Twitter traffic, suggesting that for some brands, the arrival of the veteran Twitter executive Advertising to Twitter caused some companies to increase their spending, Tipograph said.
It’s too early to tell if Threads’ debut will affect Twitter’s ad sales going forward, Tipograph added.
Twitter issued an automated response when contacted for comment.
In addition to Threads’ growing user base, Tipograph said businesses are interested in Threads because it shares similar back-end management tools to Instagram’s, which means corporate social media managers would find it more easy to use platform. Also, businesses that already have Instagram accounts can essentially move their followers to Threads instead of building an audience from scratch.
“It’s the most instant onboarding experience I’ve had in my career history, and my entire career has been on social media,” Tipograph said.
Still, Tipograph believes that for Threads to have a big impact in online advertising, it will need users who regularly interact with each other on the site, which could be quantified by the number of daily active users, an established marketing metric.
For Tal Jacobson, incoming CEO of digital advertising firm Perion Network, “the number of signups doesn’t mean much.” While it was easy for existing Instagram users to create Threads accounts, he said, it’s unclear how active they’ll be on the service.
“The number of conversations is really the number to look for,” Jacobson said, regarding which statistics would be most useful to advertisers.
Since Threads is so new, it’s unclear what kind of audience Threads attracts, Tipograph said. Businesses will look to see if the messaging app appeals to a different type of audience than existing Instagram users, which will affect their marketing plans, he added.
Instagram’s Mosseri recently said Threads will not actively promote discussions of news and politics, and the company believes tackling topics like fashion and sports would be less divisive. Because of this, some of Twitter’s core audience, who use the service to keep up with the fast-paced nature of news and politics, might be less interested in using Threads if the platform is geared toward lifestyle and entertainment.
Even if Threads doesn’t capture an audience interested in news and politics, it could still be a good deal for Meta, according to Brian Wieser, a media consultant and former technology analyst. The total audience that entertainment and lifestyle content can be targeted at can be much larger than the number of people interested in hard news, which could be a “better business” to focus on and less risk to the reputation, Wieser said.
Wieser thinks Threads is likely to represent “a good multi-billion dollar incremental business” for Meta if it can keep users glued to the service and if it doesn’t morph into an indistinguishable video app.
Angelo Carusone, president and president of the nonprofit Media Matters for America, said that if Instagram chooses to focus more on lifestyle content than hard news, it won’t have the same relevance as Twitter in influencing national issues and global.
“It might be commercially viable, but it wouldn’t have any real relevance,” Carusone said.
Media Matters and other groups, including Free Press and Accountable Tech, urged advertisers to stop spending on Twitter when Musk took over last fall, citing a rise in hate speech and other concerns.
While Threads may not currently have the same amount of offensive content on its service that drives users and advertisers off, Carusone said it’s possible that the same bad actors and trolls who have increased their activity on Twitter could do so on Threads.
Carusone noted that Nick Fuentes, a live streamer and outspoken anti-Semite who was banned from Instagram in 2019, recently said he created a fake Instagram account and Threads and urged to his viewers to “explode and give a red pill to some people there.”
If Meta is not prepared to handle users’ intent to spread misinformation and divisive content on Threads, the messaging app risks alienating advertisers as well as users, Carusone said, adding that Meta is not free. of the issues plaguing Twitter, particularly after the Meta layoffs. in their trusted and secure equipment.
“My point is that Threads basically magnifies a problem that Instagram has [that] Facebook has never figured it out,” Carusone said. “And I think that’s a real thing.”
Look: Threads becomes the fastest growing app in history with 100 million users